Nancy Drew: Secrets Can Kill

aka: Nancy Drew 1
Moby ID: 4907

Description official descriptions

Detective story star Nancy Drew's first adventure game is set in Florida, at Paseo Del Mar High School. An unpopular student there is murdered, and Nancy feels determined to solve it.

The game is a first-person point & click adventure using mouse control. Many objects can be zoomed in on to examine clues. Over 75 cryptic puzzles must be solved before the killer can be unmasked. A junior mode featuring less of the difficult puzzles is provided.


  • Нэнси Дрю: Секреты могут убивать - Russian spelling

Groups +



Credits (Windows version)

96 People (70 developers, 26 thanks) · View all

Executive Producer
Art Director
3D Graphics
2D Graphics
Lead Developer
Technical Assistant
Program Manager
Associate Producer
Scene Building & Art Support
Scene Building
Technical Support
Sound Programmer
Public Relations
Game Design
  • The Her Interactive Team
  • Karen Johnson Productions Inc.
Animation Director
Art Animation Director
Animation Producer
Assistant Animation Producer
[ full credits ]



Average score: 73% (based on 7 ratings)


Average score: 3.2 out of 5 (based on 17 ratings with 1 reviews)

Good game for the whole family

The Good
I played this game three times mainly to see the differences between the 3 difficulty levels. You can choose to be a Junior Detective, a Senior or Master Detective. The gameplay was the same for all levels and the story remained the same. Only a very small portion changed between them.

As is usual within the adventure genre, many of the important puzzles involve talking to the other characters within the game. Nancy must really interrogate her suspects without giving away the fact that she is, in fact, investigating a murder. This was handled very well with the topics you could choose from. The dialog with everyone moves the plot along and gives her clues about the crime and the other suspects.

In addition to an interesting story, the puzzles were good too. This game is full of word and letter puzzles. Anagrams and cryptograms galore, they range from very easy to medium in difficulty. You'll also find one pretty easy slider puzzle and several puzzles that involve finding passwords, including one in Braille! What I found nice, especially since I played it more than once, was the fact that solving the word puzzles was not necessary to complete the game. (You work them on paper - not as interactive parts of the game.) The first time through you'll want to try to complete as many as you can to get enough clues about the case.

The scenery and locations were drawn very nicely in 2D. The characters looked surprisingly realistic in their two-dimensional form as well and they used body language when they talked. The voiceover actors did a fine job and portrayed their characters very well. The lip-sync, too, was well-done, although not perfect.

The music is different than in the other games in the series, which was a good thing. I had grown tired of the other melody, so I was happy to hear something new. But, it did become repetitive at times. Sound effects were done well and sounded the way they were intended.

The Bad
There were a few things I didn't like about the game, but none of them really interfered with an enjoyable experience.

There was not enough difference between the difficulty levels. Playing the game as a Junior was exactly like the Senior. The Master Detective level only had one puzzle different.

Phone calls to Nancy's friends are short and to the point. Nancy asks for a hint and they give it, true, but without much other interaction. (In later games you can get a feel for their personalities, but not in this game.)

The interface was a bit sluggish. Clicking on the proper spot to make choices in conversation mode and on the Main Menu was harder than it needed to be.

There was quite a bit of disc-swapping. Start the game every time with CD1 and for one specific location, you must swap discs.

Another common trait with the latter Nancy Drew games is the limited number of save game slots.

The Bottom Line
This is the first Nancy Drew mystery made for the personal computer. Although this one is not as well designed as some of the later "issues", it is still a very good and interesting game. It is perfect for younger players and older folks too, making it enjoyable for the whole family.

Windows · by Jeanne (75935) · 2003


Nancy Drew: Secrets Can Kill has won the following awards:

  • Superkids Software Awards, The Best of 1999- Best Software for Girls, The Review Zone: Best of 1999- Kids Domain, Gold Bear Award: "Thinking Games" Category- Coalition for Quality Children's Media, Kids First® All Star Rating, 1999- The Review Corner, Best Adventure Software of 1999: Award of Excellence- Good Housekeeping, 1999 Top 10 CD-ROM, August 1999- Mothering Magazine, "Top Notch Pre-teen Media," July/August 1999- Parents' Choice Honors 1999- Teen People Online, Editor's Choice: "Best Mystery Game for Girls"


MobyPro Early Access

Upgrade to MobyPro to view research rankings!

Related Games

Nancy Drew: Secrets Can Kill - Remastered
Released 2010 on Windows, Macintosh
Nancy Drew: The Haunted Carousel
Released 2003 on Windows
Nancy Drew: The Captive Curse
Released 2011 on Windows, Macintosh
Nancy Drew: The Final Scene
Released 2001 on Windows
Nancy Drew: Danger on Deception Island
Released 2003 on Windows
Nancy Drew: Secret of the Scarlet Hand
Released 2002 on Windows
Nancy Drew: Shadow at the Water's Edge
Released 2010 on Windows, Macintosh
Nancy Drew: Stay Tuned for Danger
Released 1999 on Windows

Related Sites +

Identifiers +

  • MobyGames ID: 4907
  • [ Please login / register to view all identifiers ]


Are you familiar with this game? Help document and preserve this entry in video game history! If your contribution is approved, you will earn points and be credited as a contributor.

Contributors to this Entry

Game added by Unicorn Lynx.

Additional contributors: Indra was here, Jeanne, DemonikD.

Game added August 31, 2001. Last modified February 4, 2024.